I upgraded this blog from WordPress v. old.old to the latest version (which means I no longer need to do manual upgrades in the future). Every time I interact with Automattic’s products I am very impressed by their ability to translate technical prowess into effectiveness. It’s something that we try to emulate at Cheezburger.
1 sentence summary = probably not going to make any impact (thank goodness)
I appeared as a guest on The Morning Show for Australia’s Seven network.
What looks like this on TV:
Actually looks like this from the point of view of the talking heads:
It’s amazing what you can do on TV. Also, Aussies are just so adorable!
The most astounding thing about the health care reform is the amount of frightened people out there. What’s even more amazing is the number of uninsured people who are afraid of government intervention. That’s like the poor worrying about the higher taxes rich people pay.
I’ve been on both sides of the system. As a relatively young man, not being insured doesn’t appear to be much of a problem. Medically, young males have very few things to worry about. On the other hand, as a husband, I can’t imagine putting my family through a financial disaster that is possible under the current arrangement. I’ve seen my mother survive cancer and enjoyed the benefits of company-paid healthcare. And then watched her become worried and desperate for coverage after she was laid off and became uninsured.
As a CEO, I’ve come to realize that lack of healthcare is a barrier for employees from leaving jobs and starting new businesses. That’s a problem for a small business / startup like ours. Its not unusual to run in to very talented employees working at large companies who feel that they cannot leave a job they dislike because our company’s health plan is not as good. I’ve met many people who would love to start a new business but can’t, because they would be unable to get coverage for pre-existing conditions until they reach a certain company size.
Effectively, unequal healthcare serves as a barrier to innovation. It’s entirely possible that our own employees may quit and start their own companies because guaranteed heathcare coverage may allow them to do so, but I have no desire to be the man that keeps an employee down. Increasing costs in healthcare also means that annually we face the choice of paying more in premiums or cutting benefits.
This will probably be the last time in a long time that we’ll be able to have an intelligent public debate about how we can safeguard our family from healthcare costs. So please, don’t be afraid of the complexity and start asking questions.
One of the surprising things about this job is the random gifts people send us. From thank you notes to cakes and candy, we’ve gotten some amazing things from our fans and partners.
Today, we received the biggest gift we’ve ever gotten in the form of four American Apparel boxes from Dov and Ryan. Here’s the chaos that ensued after I opened one of the boxes and said “Hey! Free clothes!”
*Warning: Transgender apparel outfitting*
Thanks American Apparel!
Rob Walker, the guy behind Murketing, asks the question if the Sour video (after the jump) qualified as crowdsourced:
If the crowd’s job is basically to follow orders from well-funded visionary authorities… and kinda look all crowdy-like while doing so — then what, exactly, does crowdsourcing mean?
I love Rob’s question. I think most other people miss the big underlying reason why the video was so amazing and enjoyable to watch. There’s been a trend and pattern among viral videos that leverages “Obsessive Houdinism”. (I’m going to call it that.) “Obsessive Houdinism” is the theory that by using technology and a big helping of obsessive coordination, we can transform what appears to be an impossible feat into an entertaining event.
The Sour music video almost maximizes this theory by using amateurs and hence people’s awe of “amateur aesthetic”. I say almost because if the video had been performed by the users’ puppies and kittens, the Houdini act would have been more impressive.
That video is not crowdsourced. Just massively awesome.
Turning the question upside down also raises an interesting question. Consider Hollywood, where millions of struggling amateur writers are creating new shows and some get made, is that crowdsourcing? If not, what about American Idol?